Tuesday, January 28, 2014

My Newport Folk Festival Lineup Wish List

With tickets already purchased and the lineup still several days away from being announced, I have been killing way too much time thinking about my wish list of performers for this years Newport Folk Festival. Although it's a ridiculous exercise, its enjoyable because there is a solid chance that I land on 1 or 2. And if not, I am certain to be pleased with some of the great surprises they line up for 2014 (Beck last year?!?!)

Below please find the top 10 performers I'd like to see at Fort Adams this year. Keep in mind that I did not include anyone I have already seen during my 4 attended NPFF's nor did I include anyone I thought had no shot of being announced.

10. Josh Ritter - Ritter is tailor made for NPFF and I am borderline shocked that he hasn't surfaced up to this point. I've seen him headline smaller festivals and have no doubt that he would command a huge prescience on any stage.
9. Mike Doughty - I am reluctant to put the former Soul Coughing front man on this list because I have seen him so many times and think his shows lend themselves to small, intimate venues. But far be it from me to keep him in a cage, so let's see him Bust up a Starbucks with the Pell bridge in the background.
8. Jack Johnson - This seems like an odd choice, because JJ hasn't really been in my listening queue lately. But if I am matching artists with the setting, this is a perfect fit.
7. Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks - Consider this a "missed opportunity" selection. I absolutely love the new album and am disappointed to not catch any of his local shows (all soldout), so here's hoping I get a shot this July.
6. The New Pornographers - I'm not even sure this is possible considering they haven't played together in ages, but this will be shot in the dark choice. Please note, I'll gladly accept Neko, A.C. Newman or Destroyer as well.
5. Brett Dennen - My wife and I have been on a huge Dennen kick and I am really crossing my fingers that this red haired troubadour is on the NPFF radar screen.
4. Van Morrison - On the list of icons I have yet to see live, Van is on the top.
3. Phoenix - Not sure they fit the mold, but I didn't think the Decemberists did either. I think they have just the right amount of alternative to headline the fest without being out of place.
2. Martin Sexton - I know he has played this festival before, but he has eluded us the last few years. I saw him last week in CT and was reminded how his voice is perhaps the most perfect and powerful out there. Kind of need to hear him crank out "golden road" as the sun sets on the festival.
1. James Taylor - JT has been my favorite singer songwriter of all time, and although I'm unsure if he has ever played the festival before, I think he makes perfect sense. I'm just not sure the festival can afford him but hopefully he has wiggle room for the best festival on the planet.

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